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Thursday, September 30, 2010

My First Bike Crash

Now I know how easy it is to break the collar bone when we fall down from the bike, i.e. bike crash. And I now also know how important it is to always wear a helmet while riding a bike.

Because it happened to me last night. My first bike crash.

Wednesday night is our normal weekly riding night. There were seven cyclists altogether last night. Together with another duathlete, he and I came early to training site to do a 6km run prior to riding. The weather was nice, with a very little drizzle at the start.

Done with the slow run, we went for cycling. I paired up with another triathlete who’s doing a last minute training for Desaru, and side by side with him I shifted to my heaviest gear (to do quads power training) and started the cruise. And paddling with heavy gears means cadence is within 65 to 75 rpm, perfect to be in aero position all the way comfortably. On the flat, or while climbing inclinations.

The first loop was ok. On the second loop, I almost hit a fallen tree branch lying on the tarmac, under the tree shadow. The road was actually well lit by the street lights, but there were some dark areas where the lights were blocked by the shady tree branches.

It happened on the third loop. I was still in aero position (i.e. hands are away from the brakes), followed by my friend at the back who was also in aero position. While riding pretty slowly up the incline (I reckon it was around 25kph or less), I suddenly saw the tree branch one meter ahead in the darkness of the shadow and there’s no way I could maneuver my bike away from it.

“Kayu!!!”, I shouted to my friend.

I went straight onto the fallen tree branch on the road. In a split second, I swerved to the left as my front tire lifted up from the ground when it hit the branch. My hands were still holding the aerobars and my left shoulder took the first impact, followed by another impact on the left side of my skull onto the tarmac. At that particular microsecond after the impact, all I could think was “luckily I was wearing a helmet”.

I think I rolled myself on the tarmac to avoid any other hard impact to any other bones. And the next moment when I re-opened my eyes, there I saw my buddy also fell down. He said he didn’t manage to avoid hitting my tires. Luckily there were no vehicles coming close from behind. Or else it will be a different story.

My aerobars were dislocated, with a bit of a scratch at the ends. The right hand side shifters were badly scratched, but still functioning. There was also a bit of dislocation on the back wheel, and no other major damage on my bicycle. My buddy were much luckier, both him and his bike survived the accident with injury free.

I stood up, checked my body, bones and skins. I felt a big pain on my left shoulder, blood were coming out from the big laceration there. There were also some other lacerations on my left knee, right elbow and on my left and right hand fingers.

We then picked up our bikes, and continued riding back to where we parked our cars. My left shoulder was tingling with pain, but I could still paddle. Once arrived at the car park, I quickly threw in my bike inside the car and told my buddy I need to rush to the clinic before it closes. Time was showing 10.30pm when I reached the clinic and luckily the doctor was still there.

The major laceration I had where I first landed on the tarmac.

Getting the ATT jab (Adsorbed tetanus toxoid).
The young doctor asked why I took the picture.
I told him, “Because I’m a blogger” (cewah, poyo)

The nurse helped to clean up the lecerations.
She also asked why I took the picture.
I told her, “Because I want to make you nervous”. Aahahaha.

Fortunately, the only thing that was broken is my water bottle cage.
Not any of my bones, not any of my spirits.
Syukur Alhamdulillah.

Anyway, the morale of the story are:

1) Always wear a helmet when you go riding. No matter how slow or short your cycling session is going to be.

2) If you see obstructions on the road, e.g. fallen tree branch, big stones, potholes, etc., please notify your cycling buddies and if however possible, stop cycling for a while and remove the obstacles away from the road.

3) Always bring along your ID and insurance card if you have. You never know when you will be needing them desperately.

4) Well, this is not really a morale of the story. But it would be good to have at least a phone with a camera along with you, especially if you are a blogger like me who likes to write drama. Ngeh ngeh ngeh.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trail Temptation

The thought of going out for another trail run was so tempting that I brought back my trail running shoes during last Raya holiday. The sad news is, they never get worn. So, to stop having this little guilt feeling in my kidney, I quietly made a plan to join Ian's 3rd Progressive Outdoor Run (POR) at FRIM, last Saturday morning, with a mileage target of 15km doing one loop.

Plus, I wanted to test out my new CamelBak, for the first time.

I arrived at the agreed meeting point 15 minutes early. Geared up with my 2 liter hydration pack and I did some warming up while waiting for the remaining gang to arrive. Although it was my first time using it, the CamelBak didn’t give any much hindrance towards my running. The initial unfamiliarity having something on my back was quickly easing off as I finished the warming up run.

There were Ian himself, Peter, Daniel, Zaki and Syah on the scene by 7am. After a short warm up and stretching session, we hit the trail.

Now we know how the MacamBagus do their secret handshake.

Ian led the stretching session, as always.

Our Hong Kong superstar librarian runner (mak aih banyaknya pangkat dia), Zack Yui Chong Abdullah (I made this up, hihi) sedang meng-skodeng anak dara orang bulan.
On his left is Daniel and Peter.

The last time I went for trail run at FRIM was last year, and this time Syah took us on another route that I’ve never been to before. After a few minutes running on the tarmac, we started the trail portion from the entrance of Jalan Bukit Bujang.

Where the trail begins.

Syah was the group leader this time around.
And if you want to do tempo run, follow his ‘easy’ pace.
And if you want to vomit while running, try following his ‘moderate’ pace.

The first portion of the trail started off with some moderate inclinations, a bit of a flat and followed with some undulating courses. Its width reduces as we get deeper into the woods, making the trail run much more enjoyable and tactical at the same time. I tried my best to stay in pace with Syah, but I slowly got dropped off. It’s a clear indication of my lack in fitness.

Not long after, we get to the first regroup point. Something funny happened here. Since it was raining the night before, the damp ground where we stood were full with leeches. Tiny little ones, like babies. I started to notice one of two leeches on my right and left shoes and picked them out. Then, everybody else was busy picking out leeches from their shoes. If I’m not mistaken, I got 9 leeches, Peter got 10 of them, and the winner of the day was our Hong Kong hero, who got the highest number of leeches visit on his shoes. 12 of them altogether. The lesson learnt, do not stop for a break for more than 3 minutes.

You can’t see it from this photo how panic Zaki was when he first discovered the leeches on his shoes.
I should have taken a video shot instead. It was hilarious.
Anyway, an opportunity to grab his ‘betis gebu’ photo like this shall not go to waste.

We continued our run before more leeches get onto our shoes. I was on a familiar route now and the undulating up and down was a true pleasure to run on. There were a few other occasional hikers and walkers along this track on the lovely morning. The fresh, clean and oxygen-rich air in the morning that we can get here is something we seldom get nowadays, especially for us who live in concrete jungle.

This was the only time I went ahead of everybody else.
And I almost puked (oh, drama again).

Some portion of the trail gives you long steady climb, to which I was forced to start walking to ease off my breathing and heart rate.

I killed some time by taking a self-shot while waiting for the last runners.
It took me seven tries before I get this one in the frame.

After reaching the junction nearby The Tea House, we took it further into another portion of the trail which later leads us to the Steroid Hill. We made another quick break stop for regrouping before proceeding up the Steroid Hill.

The start of Steroid Hill…

… and what you see here is not the peak yet.
And if you are interested to know, only three persons here managed to run all the way up to the peak without any walk break.
And surely I was not included as one of them lah.

One of the many beautiful sceneries you can enjoy while being on the top.

I stopped taking picture from then onwards as I was feeling so much fatigued. Perhaps I was hallucinating as well when I thought I saw Daniel from afar taking a wrong junction while he tried to follow Syah and Ian upfront. I stopped to wait for Zaki and Peter, just to make sure which junction should we take (since Zaki ran this route before). I told them I saw Daniel taking another junction so we started calling Ian and Syah to check whether Daniel was with them. To my delight, everybody was OK. Yup, I guess I was hallucinating.

The return route was much easier on the foot as there were more down hills. Out of a sudden while I was running with Zaki, Yip came by passing through like a bullet train. He slowed down for a quick “hi-hi bye-bye” to us, and then blasted away. He’ll do well in the upcoming solo 100km run at TNF race. All the best Yip!

Yip is surely one of the most hardcore and fast long distance runners we ever have here in Malaysia. He’s also an Ironman triathlete.

When we get back to The Tea House, the run on tarmac towards the car park was really torturing me. The sun was up high and blazing too. I was so fatigued that I can’t even run straight for 200m without taking any walk breaks. We finally reached back to the car park and I took 2.5hours for the whole journey (including break times). I only did one loop of 15km, while Syah and Ian continued further with another loop, making it 30km.

Squatting L-R: Daniel, Ian, Syah.
Standing L-R: Peter, Zack Yui Chong Abdullah and EnAikAY.

There will be another session of FRIM trail run this Saturday. Details can be found at Ian’s blog.

And for the sake of Coney Dog, I’ll be there insyaAllah.

P/s: Next, my Newton 25km race report will be filled with photos (and quirky captions). If only I have more time to start writing about it lah. I have a nasty busy week.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Steroid Shot

It happened to me once before, on my left leg. It was perhaps four or five years back. The acute excruciating pain just above the heel is also known as Achilles tendinitis. This time I had it on my right leg. And one of the famous reason for getting this very painful ‘gift’ revolves around the word “overuse”.

Yes folks. I did a mistake. Well, not really a mistake if I want to put it in another perspective.

Yes I did overuse my leg muscles when I put them on the mileage shock test run on both Saturday and Sunday (see yesterday's entry).

But, I also managed to kill some stubborn M-bugs which have been happily invading my brain since a couple of months ago. The success of that little back-to-back experiment gave me a sense of confidence that, “Yes EnAikAY, you can do it!”

Anyway, I started to feel the pain on Monday. The slight pain in the morning slowly grew into much distinctive pain, to which I surrendered into a resting day (i.e. no training). On Tuesday morning however, I cannot take the pain any longer and finally paid a visit to the doctor to get some treatment.

The Achilles tendon.

You may not be able to distinguish, but my Achilles tendon is swollen.
(I know you’ll find it hard to resist, but please ignore my bulu kaki ok.)

The pain was so bad that I can’t even touch the skin there. I was limping when walking to the clinic, though fortunately I am still able to drive my manual transmission car. When the doctor squeezed my leg and the tendon (to check whether the tendon is torn or not), I was shouting loudly (I don’t care, it was very painful!) and kept on holding his hand back.

Perhaps, upon realizing that my pain was not a fake one, the doctor decided to give me a shot. And it was not just a normal pain killer shot in the butt. This time, it was a steroid shot on the tendon itself. So, what started with a mileage shock, ended with a steroid shot. Hambek kau, rasakan!

Cleaning process.
(Yes, I brought my camera along to the clinic. I knew there will be some drama)

The steroid shot was given on my Achilles tendon.
No, I didn’t scream.

The assisting nurse even asked whether I felt pain or not when the needle pierced my skin to which I told her, “Kak, the pain I’m having is twenty times more painful than what that little needle can do to me.”

Luckily I don’t have needle phobia.

And then, when I asked the doctor whether I should rest and not move my leg a single inch, he said it was not necessary. The steroid will start giving the effect after a couple of hours and the pain and swell would slowly dwindle down. But, he (and another good doctor friend of mine) recommended me to do ice treatment. So, I went back home to pick up my ice pack and headed back to the office to continue my work.

An ingenious method I invented to hold the ice pack.
Hands-free, EnAikAY style! Hihihi.
(And if you wonder, yes we can wear jeans to work everyday if we wish).

Although I rested on Monday without any workout, I managed to go to the gym for another hour of upper body workout on Tuesday. While my motivation was still up high (no, I did not get high from the steroid), I did a mini duathlon training on Wednesday night (4km run, 30km bike, 2km run), and another 50min turbo training on the trainer last night while watching Transformers 2 on DVD.

I’m back in action guys!

And guess who’s going to be the first commenter this time?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mileage Shock

If “trying something new” can be categorized as a hobby, then I can say it is one of my many newly created hobbies.

And by saying “trying something new”, I am talking about doing long runs back-to-back, over a single weekend. I never did this before. And the reason why I did it this time was to give a motivational kick-back booster in my fitness program after a long hiatus from doing anything hardcore. Cewah, hardcore konon.

Don’t you agree?
If you do, then you are a hardcore.

So, after the solo 1.5hrs long run I did last Saturday, I made myself available at Bukit Aman the next morning to join Jaja and her group for another LSD. Combined with another few reason to be at Bukit Aman (i.e. to collect Newton’s race kit, and my CamelBak), I decided to say sorry to the invitation of running at Kinrara for the route test run. Furthermore, doing long run with the Bukit Aman-Hartamas route will only give me 20km max, instead of the 25km torturous hilly route at Kinrara.

There was nothing much worth mentioning during the run from Bukit Aman to Hartamas. I was just running slowly while chatting with the few of them. But, once we arrived at Petronas Hartamas, it was like a running event because there were more than 20 runners at that time taking a breather and refueling. And our break time were slightly extended, everybody was catching up with each others latest update.

Sofian, AJ and his buddy were already making their ways back to Bukit Aman when I approached the Petronas.

Fadil (left): “Eh, siapa pulak minum air Gatorade kuning aku ni? Shuk, kau eh?”
Shuk (middle): “Aku tak. Tengok ni haa, aku ada oren punya. Kau minum air dia eh Hanchik?
Hanchik (right): “Ntahlah. Aku teguk sikit je. Aku tak tau itu Fadil punya. Aku ingatkan harta wakaf”

L-R: CK, Fadil, Hanchik, Ramlan (Ketua Reban CAR), Shuk King Poco, Jaja the Tri-mom vogue, and another buddy which I didn't get his name.

The atmosphere that morning at Petronas Hartamas was just like a small running race event. Amazing.
(‘Someone’ from Andalas would be saying “Cinya amazing” instead.)

Time to start the home run.

When our sweats were almost dried, we continued our journey back to Bukit Aman. I opted to run with Shuk upon understanding that he also lacked the training for Newton run. Our main gossip for the day was about how hardcore one of our running friends is who has been clocking quite a big mileage, even during the fasting month. The thing is, it showed to us all that when you put in some hard work, you earn the benefits later.

CK, Ramlan and Fadil enjoying the downhill.

Shuk and Meor pacing each other, looking strong.

When we ran passing by the Tijani area, my breathing started to increase. If I were running alone, I would have already started walking. Luckily there was Shuk by my side. At least, we secretly felt shy to be the one who started the walking first. So, with the hard breathing and two pairs of tired legs, both Shuk and I managed to get back to Bukit Aman without any walk breaks. I was smiling when Shuk showed me some short cuts. Hehehe.

So, I completed that 19km distance in 2h8min. Ok lah tu for a kick-start, right?. Plus, it was my first back-to-back attempt.

The famous Hartamas undulating running course.

Once back at Bukit Aman, there were lots of other runners who were there to pick up the Newton race kit. It was like a gathering of runners, and especially for many Muslim runners, perhaps it was the best time to catch up with each other after a long silence during the fasting month. It was also the moment for me to do some little hunting (with my camera lah).

“Eh, tadi aku order nasi lemak lapan bungkus. Kenapa mamat ni bungkus karipap pulak ni?”, said the handsome guy in his Raya shirt, with the shades on his forehead.

Fadil: “Weh Hanchik, lu dah dapat no tepon awek baju kuning tu?”
Hanchik: “Ada, ada.. kosong satu empat, tiga empat empat, actually aku pun tak dapat”
Shuk: “Wey, korang tak takut bini ke?

Rais: “Eh sayang, tengok tu diorang dah datang nak serbu kita la tu.”
Kash: “Ha'ah la honey. Sibuk betul la paparazzi ni, takleh tengok orang senang sikit. Ni yang I malas jadi glamour ni.
Rais: “Takdelah, I rasa diorang nak mintak roti you sikit kot.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Quick Survey

Dear readers,
I just want to do a very quick survey in order to improve this blog. I highly appreciate if you can leave your constructive comments here. You may sign in your name when giving the comments, or you can choose to be anonymous. I don’t mind.

1) What do you like to see more on this blog?

2) What do you see lacking from this blog?

3) What makes you re-visit this blog?

Please help me to make this blog better by answering to these three survey questions.

Thank you very much.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Gear On My Back

I always wanted to have a CamelBak since the first time I saw people using them. Although it is not yet widely being used for long distance runners or triathletes, this water container + mini bag pack has been widely used by most mountain bikers.

And yesterday, my dream came true. Thanks to a good friend of mine, I managed to get myself a CamelBak Classic model, with a wonderful (read: affordable to my standard) price tag.

Soon, you’ll be seeing me using this.
A sip from EnAikAY’s Mobile Teh Tarik will cost you RM0.30. But, since you are my lovely blog readers, I’ll give you some discounts. Three sips for RM1.00. Amacam?

All this while, I am only dependent on my two 300ml Fuel Belt bottles which I’ve used since 2007. I’m planning to start using the Camelbak which enables me to carry 2ltr of fluid (max. capacity) for my long rides and runs. Plus, I can also carry my camera, cell phone, gels or energy bars, maps, compass, mini pump, spare tubes, car keys, wallet, bike tools, lemang, ketupat, lontong, satay, dodol, Almond London, tart nenas… eh, eh, tersasul la pulak.

On another note, I had a bad pain in my right ear since yesterday morning. The doctor said there might be some kind of infection in my ENT department, since there’s also a little lump developed on the right side of my throat. I’ve been prescribed with antibiotics and some kind of eardrops. The thing I hate about having to take up antibiotics is that, I have to complete the dose in timely manner without any miss, three times a day.

And the reason I came up with this entry, is because I just remembered I should be taking another antibiotic and the eardrop now.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Long Deserved Kick Start

I did bring back both my trail and road running shoes when going back hometown during Raya last week. And I did have some plans for running during the holidays. So, for the sake of sharing how did I spend the last eight days, shall best be summarized chronologically.

1st day Raya, Friday
The plan for the day was a NO RUN day! Both my girls flew back to hometown and I did a solo 500km drive from KL to KB after Friday prayer. I was glad the traffic was very smooth all the way.

I took the opportunity to stop by Ian's house for Raya, and had a chance for a personal tour at his private studio. Awesome.

2nd day Raya, Saturday
I managed to spoil my running plan with the excuse that I was still tired from the previous day driving. Furthermore, who's gonna finish up the delicious mutton briyani which my mother cooked, right? Tak baik membazir, kan?

3rd day Raya, Sunday
I forgot what was the excuse, but I didn't run on this day either. I then made a plan to run to PCB (Pantai Cahaya Bulan), which is 10km away from my house. A very ambitious plan that I set for the next day. Konon-konon nak revenge la ni.

4th day Raya, Monday
Finally, I managed to go to PCB. Not by running though, but with the car. Yes, I drove. I brought my wife and daughter to the beach in the evening to enjoy the sea breeze. The thought of running 20km scared me, somehow. No kidding.

5th day Raya, Tuesday
I lost the battle with the blanket, again. What can I say?

6th day Raya, Wednesday
Okay, since it's the day I should drive back to KL, I shouldn't get too crazy and hit the tarmac in the morning, should I? So, as nice as I unloaded my trail and road running shoes from the car when I first arrived hometown, I re-loaded them back into the car trunk with the same manner. They never see any sunshine.

7th day Raya, Thursday
I re-used the “tired from driving” excuse to justify to Syah why I couldn't be at Nuang for the trail run I initially planned to join. So, the day was made full use for laundry-ing and some housekeeping. I took the 11pm bus service back to JB for work.

8th day Raya, Friday
I had to work as I do not have much annual leave left to spend. Although my wife has recommended for me to take a medical leave, I acted like a workaholic and decided to turn up for work. Arrived JB at 3.30am, continued my sleep a little bit and by 8.30am, after finishing downloading all the 250 work emails, I felt like going to a psychiatrist to get a medical leave (but I didn't). After work, I took the 6pm bus to get back to KL to spend the weekend.

After a long lost battle with no one else other than my own self during the recent holidays, I made another plan for a run today morning. Other than the reason to prepare for the upcoming Newton 25km hilly run, I felt I lack the motivation to beat the comfy bed. I almost lost it again, seriously. But I thought I better just put on my running shoes and grab my camera along. This time, I also took the mini tripod.

I forgot how nice it feels to be able to wake up and run in the morning.

I went out pretty late, roughly at 7.30am. If I'm not mistaken, my last longest run before this was during PD triathlon, which was back in July. So, I didn't set any big ambition today. I just wanted to go out and run, and sweat, and take some photos (so that I have something to help decorate this blog).

It was a slow run, baby steps alike. I didn't dare to push hard on a come-back attempt like this. An hour on the foot should be good enough. And if I can do anything further, bonus.

Taking it slow and steady. The shady morning weather was such a bless.

Everything felt good on the first half an hour of the run (obviously, because I was running very slowly). It was only my second time running on this route nearby my in-law's place. The last time I ran here was probably last year. There's basically no other runners, and I don't think the route is shared among cyclists either. Some areas are pretty secluded and there were a few stray dogs scattered around here and there at few locations.

As I hit one hour, fatigue started to creep in slowly. After a quick stop at gas station for refueling, I cut short my plan. Instead of pursuing into another housing area for another hour of run supposedly, I diverted my route back to base. Total running time was slightly over 1.5 hours, and I can't be happier than that, at this moment. Hopefully there will be some reserve energy for another long run on Sunday.

I hope this is going to be a new long-deserved kick-start.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Be Prepared For Raya

One of my favorite. The pineapple tarts.
My wife's family makes this every year.

Raya is coming soon. It is just around the corner. During the whole fasting month, we’ve faced lots of challenges. With the always changing rain-then-hot-then-rain-again weather, the flu outbreaks (at some places), never ending work at the office, this and that. So, it is just normal for us to celebrate the Raya to the fullest, with the long holidays that come together with it (which also leaves you with lesser annual leave in stock, if you are somebody like me).

And for some of those who have to miss few hardcore fitness training sessions because they can’t afford to do them during fasting (if you are people who are good at giving lame excuses, like me!), Raya is the time to put in some revenge and reset our body for more training sessions. Many big races are also in few weeks time after Raya.

Be careful though. Raya celebration/holiday may not mingle well with your fitness training. The loads of special delicacies served, the new dresses, the relatives and friends, the travelling and the atmosphere itself, may wrongly tune your brain away from what you used to have before.

LSD may bring a meaning of Lemang, Satay, and Damn-there’s-more-to-eat! So, don’t be surprised if you can do five or seven LSD sessions per day and still not feeling tired yet.

TOF which originally means Time-On-Foot training, might be misunderstood as Time-On-FOOD. Yes, this is very normal.

For all you know, there might be a kuih raya named Fartlek, among others like Almond London or Famous Amos. So, you can put a FB status update such as “I just finished five Fartleks this afternoon”, and your running friends will be in jaw-dropping-awe mode thinking that you've done the interval-like training under the hot sun.

This is not kuih Fartlek. You have to work on your own imagination for it.

When you put a status update on your FB like “25K done!”, your friends may be thinking that you just had 25 ketul ketupat. Or, maybe they’ll think that you just drove your car 25km away to meet your relatives. Do you really think they will fall to believe that you’ve ran that long during Raya? Oh come on, keep dreaming!

If you DNF (Did Not Finish) all the satay at the third house you visit during first day of Raya, it’s ok. Don’t be sad. Leave some of the satay for others too ok.

And if you think you DNS (Did Not Start) eating the third plate of rendang and lemang at your favorite uncle’s house, you are loosing a big time man. Raya only comes once a year which means your auntie only cook that special rendang during Raya, if you forget that fact. Dua pinggan mana cukup!

Please, please, please. Do not expect there will be Gatorade or cold 100Plus at the houses you visit. The most you’ll get might be F&N Mirinda strawberry flavor that will leave your tongue red, and makes you burp every 45 seconds. And if you fancy something weirder than that, try those carbonated grape drinks and you’ll end up with purple tongue.

Or if you dare, carry along your Fuel Belt or Camelbak over your Baju Melayu or Baju Kurung. Then you can have your endurance drink with you wherever you go. In case you suddenly lost the endurance to visit the 15th house of the day.

Oh ya, kids won’t be impressed if you wear your triathlon or marathon finishers’ tee shirts. For all you need to know, kids will only like you if you give them RM10, and they might fall in love with you if you can give them RM20. If you really, really want to impress the kids, put RM50 in the ang-pows (money envelopes). The kids will instantly be jumping in joy and not long after, you'll notice somebody come over and ask you, "Are you crying?"

Three more days for me to spend this week before I can finally put up the Out-Of-Office autoreply message on my work email. My body may still be here physically in the office, but I’m sure my brain is already at my hometown, since last Friday.. hehehe.

Another long driving journey awaits...

Friday, September 3, 2010

The 15 Truth Of My Silence

1. Since the start of Ramadhan, I’ve lost much interest and passion in writing, or sharing stuffs on my blog. I still blog hop almost everyday though, including hopping on my own blog.

2. On many occasions (when they happen), I thought of writing it up on my blog. But, once I sat in front of the laptop, I can’t even complete the first sentence. So, I blog hop some more.

3. To ease myself from guilt feeling, I excused myself with these three words, “I am busy”.

4. I’m ok with buying food at Pasar Ramadhan, for as long as we don’t buy more than what we can eat. But, I can’t fathom those who spend RM50++ or RM80++ just to fill the belly at the many Ramadhan buffets served here and there. Don’t they know that one of the reason or teaching behind fasting is that we humble ourselves with food? The real celebration of fasting in Ramadhan should be on Hari Raya itself, when it is the sunnah to cook more food and invite people to come over and enjoy the feast. Our Ramadhan “culture” needs to be corrected lah I guess.

5. The first 5 days of Ramadhan, totally no workout or exercise for me. I almost forgot what LSD stands for. Does it stand for Let’s Sleep & Dream?

6. From 6th days of Ramadhan onwards, I began a conquest of revenge. I hooked up my bike on the trainer, filled my ear lobes with headphones which were connected to a laptop that plays DVD movies, and punished my legs by forcing them to keep the cadence at 90rpm and above, on various gears. Each sessions would last for 30min to 60min, depending on how interesting the movies are.

7. I normally start the sessions after terawikh. The most I could do was during last week. Total of 4 nights, with each session lasted 45mins ~ 60mins. Seeing the sweats dropped off from my chin was a little bonus. Seeing the increasing average speeds as they progressed day after day, was double the bonus.

8. For the 1 hour time I spent per week at the gym doing upper body workout, I get 48 hours of muscle soreness then after. The good thing is, the gym is not crowded before iftar. I hope to clock another 1 hour gym session next week.

9. I did not do any fitness workout during the weekends, other than to carry my daughter when she’s tired of walking while following her mom doing the shopping.

10. I only ran twice during Ramadhan so far. One was two weeks ago, which was only an embarrassing 36mins of super slow run after work. And another one was on yesterday’s hot evening, which was truly a self humiliation. I started a series of walk breaks from the 7th minutes onwards. It was a total 40 minutes of self humiliation. I felt crappy, I felt unfit, I felt awful, and I’m not proud of it at all even though some non-Muslim runners said it was awesome that I still managed to run while fasting.

11. After the run and breaking fast, I went into the pool for the first time in Ramadhan for a slow swim session. All this while I was a single sided breather (taking air on right side only, per stroke), and a friend told me that this technique disrupts the momentum, hence relegating the speed. So I slowly tried double sided breathing. It’s still difficult for me to break the current habit of single sided breathing, and my stomach was filled with pool water as much as what I had for iftar whenever I took the air from the left side. But, I promised myself to train more on double sided breathing or at least, single sided breathing for every two strokes. Yes, I’m hunger for speed.

12. I’m still having the doubt whether I can finish the 25km distance for Newton hilly run on September 26th. Big workout plans (mainly consisting of more running and lower body workouts) have been set for launch after Raya. I just need to buck up on my discipline and not fall over with a bulging tummy filled with rendang, ketupat, satay and many other Aidilfitri delicacies (oh gosh, it’s gonna be tough to resist).

13. Out of all, there’s only another guy or two from JB that I know who are going to do the long distance triathlon in Desaru this coming October. So far, looks like my training is almost at par with what they are doing (maybe a little bit less). But I still don’t think I can fully prepare for the race. And I really don’t like to race with unprepared fitness. It’s not fun. Anyway, the registration is open until Sept. 18, and who knows my mind may turn 180 degrees. Sometimes, I don’t know myself, especially if the race course is only a 1.5 hours drive away from where I work now.

14. I’m not buying new Baju Melayu for this time as my previous ones are still in perfect conditions. I haven’t thought much of what else to pack for balik kampung next week, but one thing for sure my Avia Bolt running shoes will follow me.

15. I actually miss blogging. It is not that I love to write. Plus, I’m not good at writing and I tend to spend lots of time whenever I write something. But sometimes (actually, most of the times) I don’t have anything of a good quality to be jotted down here. After all, it’s difficult to be a perfectionist I guess. In that case, the “I am busy” excuse is always the best way to disguise my silence-ness in the blogging world.

My routine, twice a week.